Saturday, August 10, 2013

DC Deploys 'Oversized Vehicle Cameras'

DC has deployed the first in a new generation of 'oversized vehicle cameras' which will ticket vehicles exceeding size limits on certain local roads.

The device deployed at 42nd and Van Ness st were thought by many to be the much anticipated 'stop sign cameras', since they were deployed near a stop sign intersection.  However city officials reported to WJLA that the devices were actually intended to issue tickets to 'oversized' trucks.

According to a report on CNSWashington, the city plans to roll out eight of the devices which will issue $150 tickets.  The devices are still in testing mode and the city stated to WJLA that they have not yet issued tickets.

The devices are similar to 'vehicle height monitoring systems' which were approved by the Maryland Legislature for use in Baltimore City in 2012 with almost no public scrutiny or fanfare.. drawing the attention of some commercial trucking organizations, and our site, but pretty much nobody else.

However since you probably don't drive a large truck or bus, you probably won't be getting any tickets from this particular new device yourself.  Thus you can ignore any concerns about how the device can actually tell whether a vehicle is 'oversized', how it is calibrated, what rules they actually need to follow, what level of due process ticket recipients will be offered, whether roads where the devices are deployed have adequate notice of the restrictions or the presence of the devices for truck drivers, or whether 'oversized vehicles' actually constitute anything like a significant safety issue in these locations.  There's nothing to worry about since public officials in DC never act in any way which doesn't have the public's best interest at heart, and it probably only affects the drivers of commercial vehicles anyways.  You can just go back to more important stuff like playing Angry Birds or tweeting about whether A-Rod should have been let back in the game.

The city does still have plans in the works to deploy stop sign cameras very soon to issue tickets to vehicles for performing a 'California roll' rather than a 100% stop (which is probably you even though you don't always realize you are doing it), and also cameras for violations such as 'blocking the box'.  If you get a ticket from those and don't think it was fair, then I guess you'd better not expect commercial truck drivers to stick up for you either.